Sometime after college I figured out that scripture memorization is a lost cause for me. It’s quite simply one of the most demoralizing things for me. I’ve fasted for days, prayed for hours, read the Bible, journaled, and done all kinds of other disciplines.
My memory fails me.
So I did a little searching, trying to figure out what was going on. What I found is that I’m a big-picture person, the kind who prefers writing essays instead of multiple choice. After being challenged by another Christian to read five chapters of the Bible every day (trust me, I’m not 100% on that!), I found something.
I call this kind of reading “immersion.” When I read five chapters of the Bible, I dig into a nice chunk of the story and bend my mind into a Biblical framework.
Since I’m reading such a large section at each sitting–at least when compared to my standard “chapter a day” approach in the past–I have to spend a lot more time engaging the verses. In the process I find myself–surprise, surprise–memorizing scripture.
More importantly, when I throw myself into the world of the Bible I am often challenged and God tweaks my fragile world, challenging me with his truth. The Biblical world invades my own and leaves its mark, and part of that residue is scripture memorization, or at least a decent paraphrase.
Immersion is not “the way” to read or memorize the Bible, but for a wordy, narrative-loving guy like myself, it is refreshing to find other ways to deposit the scripture into my mind.